Tar bubbles onto streets near La Brea Tar Pits

traffic cones and signs on a residential street
Tar seepage on Masselin Ave. Photo credit Kate Gallagher/KNX News

If you’re driving through the Mid-Wilshire area in Los Angeles, watch out: that dark, sticky puddle in the middle of the street might be tar.

KNX News’ Emily Valdez reports that there’s so much tar oozing through the pavement on Masselin Avenue near Olympic Boulevard, it’s been splashing onto passing vehicles. And once it sticks to your car, it’s hard to get it off.

“I thought it was just like, they were fixing the street,” one frustrated neighborhood resident said. “That’s it. I didn't know it was coming from the tar pits.”

The Bureau of Street Services called the seepage a “naturally occurring feature of the area” near the La Brea Tar Pits. When it rains, the pits containing the tar can overflow, causing the sticky substance to seep up through the pavement.

The tar puddle on Masselin Ave. has been active for about a month. Last week, the Bureau of Street Services poured sand onto the asphalt and put up cones to guide drivers around the mess, according to KTLA.

If you live in the Mid-Wilshire area and your car is damaged by the seeping tar, you can file a claim for reimbursement with the Office of the City Clerk.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Kate Gallagher/KNX News